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Archive for the ‘St. Patrick’ Category

For many people, this past St. Patrick’s Day was a time of party and fun, all things Irish and green. But according to its original purpose, the holiday was meant to be a holy day, time set apart for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide, as this was the heart of who St. Patrick was.

Time is elusive, but we do find the time for the things that are important to us. Setting aside time for spiritual growth each day is vital to a strong relationship with God.  St. Patrick’s own passion for the Lord can be our inspiration for daily spiritual renewal…let’s follow his lead!  Take a moment to read through the following verse, meditating on the Truth revealed.

Psalm 103:2, Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not His benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.”

Yesterday’s devotional showed how St. Patrick used a shamrock as a teaching tool explaining the Trinity…God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.  Let’s follow St. Patrick’s lead!  Take a minute to look around you, to stop and breathe and think…

~Can you see something in your life that represents or symbolizes God’s character or workmanship?

~How has His unfailing love been revealed to you today?

~Share your ideas with us and check back to see what others had to say.

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St. Patrick wrote, “I must make known the gift of God and everlasting consolation, without fear and frankly I must spread everywhere the name of God…..”

One of the ways that St. Patrick did this was really very creative. He used the shamrock with its three leaves to symbolize the Trinity, the Biblical doctrine that God is three in one – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

God the Father loves us with an everlasting love. Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and rise from the dead breaking the power of sin in our lives. The Holy Spirit living within the children of God as the guaranteed deposit that He will come back for His children and as the Counselor with us always. What a glorious and mysterious Truth!  God’s great love, sacrifice and hope dwelling Three in One. 

Thank you, our Father, for the great love you have for us.  Thank you, Jesus, for willingly taking the penalty for our sins. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for coming to live within us, and never leaving us.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

Hopefully you’ve been reading all week as our theme has been the real life person behind the St. Patrick holiday.  Yes, there really was a man named Patrick who loved the Lord.  (see previous day’s devotional.)  He loved telling people about the forgiveness God offers through His Son, Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.  After a person has accepted God’s gift of salvation, God promises He’ll never leave them.  One of Patrick’s quotes reminds Christians of the nearness of Christ our Savior.  

“Christ behind me, Christ within me, 

Christ beneath me, Christ above me, 

Christ at my right hand, Christ at my left.” 

 Here are some scripture verses which may have inspired that quote.  As you read them may they inspire you with the truth that God through Christ is not only all around us but also indwelling us! 

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory….which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27 

“I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psalm 16:8 

”Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand.” Psalm 73:23 

“The Lord is at Your right hand.”   Psalm 110:5 NASB 

For He stands at the right hand of the needy…” Psalm 109:31 

“You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.”            Psalm 139:5 NASB 

 “….the LORD surrounds His people, both now and forever.”  Psalm 125:2HCSB 

“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.” Psalm  34:7 NASB 

For I,’ declares the LORD, ‘will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.'”  Zechariah 2:5 

“His glory will be a canopy over us.”  (Isaiah 4:5) 

If you’ve never accepted God’s love and forgiveness of sin, please do so today by telling God you’re sorry for your sin so that He may be in you and around you, too.   

   

  

 

 

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Yesterday we noted the similarities between the Biblical account of Joseph and 4th century Patrick.  Genesis 50:20 record for us words of Joseph many years after his brothers had placed him in slavery.  “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”  These words appear to describe the same attitude Patrick chose to embrace.

After six years of slavery, Patrick was able to escape back to his homeland of Scotland.  But his faith had grown dramatically while in slavery and his  heart was deeply touched to reach out to the spiritually lost lives of  the Irish people.  He sought and was given permission by King Loegaire to preach Christianity to the Irish natives who did not know the love of God or the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. 

Patrick was known for his inspirational sermons and devotional prayers, preaching about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ across the countryside.  As he reached out to the Irish, he  was able to encourage many to turn from their pagan rituals of idolatry and to instead trust Christ.  Certain historical accounts tells us that many of these converts were women from the wealthy class who realized that though their houses were full their lives were spiritually empty.

This is also true of so many of  us today.  We live in prosperity while remaining spiritually bankrupt.  We remain enslaved to material pursuits, things that are empty, instead of living a life of freedom.  Let’s change that direction and escape that slavery.  Today we can choose to turn our focus fully to the Lord, seeking Him above all else.  Let’s not be foolish, hoarding to ourselves things and experiences that are meaningless while our eternal spiritual life withers away.

Father, thank you for the example of Saint Patrick, who allowed his own time of physical slavery as motivation to bring others out of spiritual slavery.  We want to be free…free of the things that entrap and hold us back from a richer relationship with You, dear Lord.  Lead us as we walk away from those distractions in our life that we choose to worship rather than You.  We want nothing to be above You in our hearts and in our minds!  In Jesus’ Name,  Amen

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St Patrick…Slave

Patrick lived in the 4th century AD, and was a native of Scotland.   At age 16 he was captured by pirates and taken as a slave to Ireland.  After 6 years of slavery, he managed to escape from his captors  and return to his native land. 

His story parallels that of Joseph, found in the Old Testament starting in Genesis 37.  Joseph as a teenage boy also found himself separated from his family and enslaved.  Joseph didn’t allow the terrible experience to crush his faith in God, and God was with Him throughout the entire time. Genesis 39:2  says this, “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered…”   The Lord was also with Patrick in his time of slavery.  Later in life, he would say that during those harsh years of slavery his faith in God grew dramatically as it forced him on his knees in prayer daily. The Lord was with Patrick and allowed him to prosper spiritually and emotionally through a terrible challenge.

Most of us will not experience the drama that Joseph and Saint Patrick did…being plucked away from all we know and love into slavery.  But we have our own little drama’s.  We have little challenges that pop up in our lives daily that attempt to steal our joy in the Lord and try to undermine our trust in Him. Raccoons spread our garbage through the neighborhood.  An unexpected bill shows up in the mail.  The car gets a flat tire and we are already late for work.  Nothing too dreadful, yet those are the kinds of things that threaten to pull us down.

But we are not without options.  We can choose to use challenges, big and small,  for our spiritual growth.  We can commit to follow Saint Patrick’s example of using adversity to bring us to our knees in prayer before the Lord.  We can allow hardships to strengthen our core in Jesus Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father, You alone are able to take something so evil as slavery and turn it into something that becomes good as You did in St. Patrick’s life.  And You are able to do this with the negative things in my life today.  Remind my heart to turn to You in prayer when I am tempted to focus on my negative circumstances.  Touch my heart with Your sweet Words of comfort as I work my way through the adversity.  Strengthen my hands to do Your will here on earth despite the challenges I face.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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